Of Mice and Men

George and Lennie’s Farm Symbol Analysis

George and Lennie’s Farm Symbol Icon

George and Lennie dream of buying a patch of land of their own to use as a farm—a farm where they’ll build a self-sustaining life and “live off the fatta the lan.” Their hypothetical farm represents the failures of the American Dream, an especially dark reality given the Depression-era setting of the novella, when dreams of peace, stability, and harmony were the only things keeping most people going. George and Lennie’s farm is a pipe dream from the start—it is a “scheme” destined to go awry and leave “nought but grief an’ pain” in its wake. Candy, an old man they meet at their ranching job, is also swept up in the idea of the farm and is willing to contribute his savings to secure the land. But, sure enough, George and Lennie never get to see the farm come to fruition—George’s habit of irresponsibly spending all of his earnings, as well as Lennie’s death at the end of the story, ensure that their dream will never happen. George even admits to Candy that he knew the farm would never pan out, despite his daydreaming. The farm is thus a symbol of an unattainable fantasy of paradise and plenty whose only purpose is to keep those generating the fantasy alive—and remotely hopeful—in the midst of a time defined by struggle, failure, and scarcity.

George and Lennie’s Farm Quotes in Of Mice and Men

The Of Mice and Men quotes below all refer to the symbol of George and Lennie’s Farm. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Broken Plans Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Penguin Books edition of Of Mice and Men published in 1993.
Part 1 Quotes

“Guys like us, that work on ranches, are the loneliest guys in the world. They got no family. They don't belong no place. […] With us it ain't like that. We got a future.”

[…] Lennie broke in. “But not us! An’ why? Because...because I got you to look after me, and you got me to look after you, and that's why.”

Related Characters: George Milton (speaker), Lennie Small (speaker)
Related Symbols: George and Lennie’s Farm
Page Number: 13-14
Explanation and Analysis:
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“Well,” said George, “we'll have a big vegetable patch and a rabbit hutch and chickens. And when it rains in the winter, we'll just say the hell with goin' to work, and we'll build up a fire in the stove and set around it an' listen to the rain comin' down on the roof.”

Related Characters: George Milton (speaker), Lennie Small
Related Symbols: George and Lennie’s Farm
Page Number: 14-15
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile
Part 3 Quotes

“We could live offa the fatta the lan'.”

Related Characters: Lennie Small (speaker)
Related Symbols: George and Lennie’s Farm
Page Number: 57
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile

“S'pose they was a carnival or a circus come to town, or a ball game, or any damn thing." Old Candy nodded in appreciation of the idea. "We'd just go to her," George said. "We wouldn't ask nobody if we could. Jus' say, 'We'll go to her,' an' we would. Jus' milk the cow and sling some grain to the chickens an' go to her.”

Related Characters: George Milton (speaker), Candy
Related Symbols: George and Lennie’s Farm
Page Number: 60-61
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile
Part 4 Quotes

“I seen hundreds of men come by on the road an' on the ranches, with their bindles on their back an' that same damn thing in their heads [. . .] every damn one of 'em's got a little piece of land in his head. An' never a God damn one of 'em ever gets it. Just like heaven. Ever'body wants a little piece of lan'. I read plenty of books out here. Nobody never gets to heaven, and nobody gets no land.”

Related Characters: Crooks (speaker)
Related Symbols: George and Lennie’s Farm
Page Number: 74
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile
Part 5 Quotes

“I think I knowed from the very first. I think I knowed we'd never do her. He usta like to hear about it so much I got to thinking maybe we would.”

Related Characters: George Milton (speaker), Lennie Small
Page Number: 94
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile
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George and Lennie’s Farm Symbol Timeline in Of Mice and Men

The timeline below shows where the symbol George and Lennie’s Farm appears in Of Mice and Men. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part 1
Broken Plans Theme Icon
The American Dream Theme Icon
Male Friendship Theme Icon
...about how someday, he and Lennie will save up enough money to buy a little farm of livestock and rabbits. Lennie excitedly says they’ll soon “live off the fatta the lan.”... (full context)
Part 3
Broken Plans Theme Icon
The American Dream Theme Icon
Male Friendship Theme Icon
...it again. George relents, and again tells Lennie a romantic story about the lush, fertile farm they’ll live on. They’ll plant alfalfa, harvest an orchard, and raise rabbits. As George goes... (full context)
The American Dream Theme Icon
Male Friendship Theme Icon
The Weak and the Strong Theme Icon
...skeptical of Candy’s offer, and says he’d always conceived of himself and Lennie working the farm on their own. Still, as he begins doing the math, he realizes that he and... (full context)
Part 4
Broken Plans Theme Icon
The American Dream Theme Icon
Male Friendship Theme Icon
The Weak and the Strong Theme Icon
Minorities, Marginalization, and Scapegoating Theme Icon
...he is going to grow alfalfa for his rabbits when he and George have a farm of their own. Crooks calls Lennie “nuts” and tells him that every laborer who passes... (full context)
Broken Plans Theme Icon
The American Dream Theme Icon
...way for them to turn a profit on the rabbits once they move onto their farm. Crooks “brutally” interrupts Candy to tell him that he and Lennie are kidding themselves—he predicts... (full context)
Broken Plans Theme Icon
The American Dream Theme Icon
The Weak and the Strong Theme Icon
...wanted to. Candy gets upset, stating that he, too has options—he’ll soon have his own farm. Candy tells Curley’s wife to run along and leave them alone.  (full context)
Part 5
Broken Plans Theme Icon
The American Dream Theme Icon
...place.” George admits that all along, deep down, he knew that they’d never get their farm. George laments that he’ll now live like an ordinary ranch hand, spending everything he makes... (full context)
Part 6
Broken Plans Theme Icon
The American Dream Theme Icon
Male Friendship Theme Icon
The Weak and the Strong Theme Icon
Minorities, Marginalization, and Scapegoating Theme Icon
...at the base of Lennie’s skull as he continues spinning the familiar yarn about a farm with animals, rabbits, and a big alfalfa patch. He assures Lennie that Lennie will get... (full context)
Broken Plans Theme Icon
The American Dream Theme Icon
Male Friendship Theme Icon
The Weak and the Strong Theme Icon
Minorities, Marginalization, and Scapegoating Theme Icon
...footsteps coming nearer. He assures Lennie that they are going to go to their little farm soon and will have “no more trouble” for the rest of their lives. Lennie says... (full context)